Where to see Olympic torch relay in Lowestoft, Wrentham, Reydon and Southwold
PEOPLE in Waveney are being encouraged to turn out in force on Thursday to welcome the Olympic torch to north Suffolk – and celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Olympic flame is due to arrive in Lowestoft on Thursday morning, before passing through Wrentham, Reydon and Southwold as it continues its journey to London, ahead of the start of the games on July 27.
With thousands expected to line the route, the leader of Waveney District Council Colin Law admitted he was 'very excited' by the prospect of the torch passing through the area and he urged local people to make it a day to remember.
'This will be one the most memorable days in the lives of our local communities and I hope as many people as possible come out to enjoy it,' he said. 'Seeing the torch will be very special, but just as special will be the opportunity to share this experience with thousands of other people who are rightly proud of their towns and villages.'
The torch is due to arrive in Lowestoft for the Waveney leg of the relay at about 10am.
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However, the build-up will begin up to an hour before this, with sponsors' vehicles handing out free gifts to the waiting crowds.
Heading along Yarmouth Road – with students from Benjamin Britten and Denes high schools likely to be among the spectators – the torch will travel along the town's historic High Street before heading to Ness Point and back up to London Road North, passing through the main shopping area. After spending about 50 minutes in Lowestoft the torch will head to Wrentham, Reydon and Southwold.
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People are being asked to plan ahead to ensure the day goes smoothly, with heavy traffic expected in the area on the day and the A12 through Lowestoft closed between 9.30am and 11.30am.
Mr Law added: 'Please give yourselves plenty of time to get to your chosen vantage point as there is bound to be disruption to traffic and travel on the day.'
Suffolk County Council estimates that the Olympic torch could attract 160,000 to 190,000 spectators when it passes through the county on its three days in the county next week.
Bruce Provan, Waveney's cabinet member for leisure, tourism and economic development, praised those who had worked hard to make the day a success. He said: 'The logistics of an event of this magnitude are mind boggling.'
THE ROUTE (all times are approximate)
10.02am to 10.53am: The torch relay will start at the Yarmouth Road-Weston Road junction, continuing via Yarmouth Road to High Street, Rants Score, Whapload Road and Gas Works Road where it will stop briefly at Ness Point. It will then head past the OrbisEnergy centre, along Hamilton Road, into Artillery Way before turning into London Road North and going through the town centre. It will continue via Station Square, the Bascule Bridge and Belvedere Road, stopping at Tom Crisp Way. The relay will then go into 'convoy' mode on its way to Wrentham.
11.10am to 11.21am: The relay will resume in Wrentham on the A12 at Locks Lane, turning left onto Southwold Road, passing the Five Bells Inn before leaving the village.
11.27am to 11.34am (and 11.57am): In Reydon, the relay will travel from Oaklands House into Mights Road and North Road before heading Southwold. The torch will also pass through Reydon when it heads back out along Halesworth Road at 11.57am.
11.34am to 11.57am: In Southwold, the torch will cross Might's Bridge at 11.36am and turn into Pier Avenue, continuing to the pier – where there is likely to be a photo opportunity – then along North Parade and past the beach huts, before returning along Pier Avenue, across Might's Bridge, to Hill Road, Reydon.
The Olympic Torch convoy will then head to St Felix School on the outskirts of Southwold for its lunch stop and will then move in to Suffolk Coastal before heading to Ipswich for that evening's celebration event.